On Roleplaying

I used to be an avid roleplayer. Text-based roleplaying rather than game/picture/whatever-based. You know, one person writes part of a story from their point of view, then the next person writes something, and so on and so forth. The themes? Anything really as long as it interested me. Strictly safe for work though, I’ve never really done (or been good at) writing sexy stuff.  These days? I avoid roleplaying as much as possible.

My original forays into roleplaying go back to when I used to run Budding Writers, a small writing forum. We didn’t really do much proper roleplaying, it was preserved for various events. The most popular ones included a slumber party at my house for some reason. It was weird, but this was a long time ago. Four years ago at least.

Back then though, I could rely on other people to reply. Budding Writers might not have been hugely active, but everyone would post, or announce that they were dropping out and kindly kill their characters off or send them away.

My later trips into roleplaying never really worked. One large roleplay I did, on a site called Incognito Inside, I found that other characters ignored me because I used less well-known characters, or OCs. It’s not that people didn’t like them, people loved Lehvak-Kal in particular, it’s just that no one seemed to be able to relate to me. Another roleplay I joined on another roleplaying site, I was pretty much ignored completely, and when the game master came to the roleplay’s conclusion, my character never actually got an ending. “Oh, everyone returned to their home universes!” What, including my secondary character whose home universe was destroyed and did nothing but go on about it throughout the entire roleplay? Gee, thanks for the consideration. Most of the damn ‘action’ roleplay was talking anyway.

"Oh Lotus can we please get to the action now?" "Hang on, Volt, I haven't described how my voice is yet!"
“Oh Lotus can we please get to the action now?” “Hang on, Volt, I haven’t described how my voice is yet!”

What made me give up on roleplaying in general though was, oddly, a Team Fortress 2 roleplay. After finally drumming up some attention, I got one person to join me in a TF2 roleplay about RED Scout’s mum coming to visit Scout and his team. The original plan was that they controlled RED Scout’s mum while I controlled Scout and RED Spy and they’d bring in BLU Spy later. I ended up controlling everyone but Scout’s mum. They dropped out from the roleplay because apparently controlling one character was too much for them, despite the fact that most of their posts were 2-3 sentences. Didn’t stop them from joining three other roleplays and completing them.

I got sick and tired of people not pulling their weight. And you’d think, two or three years later, things might change. No, it’s still all the same damn bullshit.

Let me get this straight. I don’t expect a roleplay partner to write essays like I do. I’m happy to adjust the amount I write to match what you write. But what I HATE is having to carry the entirety of the story on my own. Especially if you are completely oblivious to everything going on and don’t do anything at all. Even more so if you spend forever thinking about your appearance and things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

So much damn work, roleplaying these days...
So much damn work, roleplaying these days…

Carry your own damn weight. The whole point of a roleplay is that everyone contributes equally, yet every roleplay I partake in, I end up doing most of the work!

If I wanted that, I’d just go and write my own stories, and that’s what I do now.

Really, what I write is much more liberating. At least in my own stories, I control everything and can change things as I need to. My writing, on my own, gives me way more freedom than any roleplay I could do with a partner.

Also, if it really, really, really looks like I don’t want to roleplay, get the hint and stop asking me. I DON’T LIKE ROLEPLAYING.

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